tv Reel America CSPAN November 19, 2016 8:28am-8:46am EST
host: well, thanks to both of you in helping us see through the lens of history a ceremony that helped millions of americans put world war i to closure after many tumultuous use years here in the united states. thanks for your expertise. mitchell: thank you. llison: thank you. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern, lectures in history. >> the only essential difference between a nazi mob hunting down jews in central europe and an american mob burning black men at the stake in mississippi is that one is actually encouraged by the national government and one is just tolerated by its national government. >> gettysburg college professor on world war ii and its impact on civil rights. and then at 10:00 on reel america a 1968 film on the black panthers founded 50 years ago. >> and so it is very apparent that the police in our
community are not for our security but the security of the business owners in the community and also to see that the status quo is kept intact. >> sunday afternoon about 4:30 eastern archeologist dean snow on his findings while ex-ca the revolutionary war battlefield saratoga in new york and the inspiration to his book, 1777, tipping point at saratoga. >> what on earth was a little old lady doing out there? she was at the time she died about five feet tall, at least 60 years old, and she affs battle casualty at saratoga. what is going on here? >> and at 6:00 eastern on "american artifacts" -- >> the french method was to put you in a little plane with the wings cut down. your second training flight they give you more wing and a little bit bigger engine on the thing and you would literally hop up and down the field. then when you were ready for the big day you talked to your instructor who had been talking to you on the ground all the time and he'd pat you on the
shoulder and go -- and you get in an airplane and make your first real solo flight all by yourself. >> we take a tour of the military aviation museum in virginia home to one of the largest private collections of world war i and 2 aircraft. to learn about advances in aviation technology during those wars. for a complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. >> pittsburgh is known as the city of bridges. it has over 446 bridges, which is three more than venice and italy. up next, we'll take you to the archive service center at the university of pittsburgh to learn more about the late congressman john murtha.
>> representing the 12th district of pennsylvania congressman john murtha presents "capitol commentary." and now here is congressman murtha. congressman murtha: i'm glad you could join us for another in our series of reports from washington. >> we're at the archive service center at the university of pittsburgh. the archive service center really collects materials that really document sort of the post industrial pittsburgh. today we'll talk about congressman john patrick murtha, better known as jack murtha. john murtha was a congressman that served almost four decades in washington, representing the people of western pennsylvania. particularly the people sort of in the areas to the east and the south of surrounding pittsburgh. what i'd like to share with you today is a bit about congressman murtha's career as
a military man, about his influence with military spending, and also his legacy and the national park service here in western pennsylvania. jack murtha actually was not born here in western pennsylvania, but down in -- along the ohio river down in west virginia in the 1930's. both of his parents were originally from western p.a. so he finds himself coming back here as an early child. you know, the murthas, his family tradition is they were irish catholic family. his great grandfather emigrate today this country. they worked in the coal mines around places like scottsdale and mount pleasant, pennsylvania just to the east of pittsburgh. now, it's very important to know that the coal mining was very important here because we are the home of the steel industry. and coal and the refinement of
coal is part of that sort of trajectory of the steel making process. so it's very important. so jack murtha's ancestors were a big part of that trajectory of the steel industry here in pittsburgh. public service was a huge thing for the murthas and the ray families, and greatly influenced congressman murtha, particularly military service. so he volunteered for the marine corps in 1952. very quickly, he became a drill instructor down in paris island. then he later became an officer's candidate at quantico. by 19 # 5, he actually -- by 1955 he actually is finished with his active service in the marine corps, but continues for many, many years to be a reserve in the marine corps. in fact, he continues to be in the reserves until 1990, where he retires as a colonel.
but that is not his only, you know, service. he actually does volunteer for service in 1966. he was in vietnam. they had tours for one year. when they were deployed. and so the major objective that he did as a military intelligence was sort of mapping out where guerrilla warfare and attacks on the american forces were happening with a new sort of way of analyzing data and he was able to determine where the enemy was located. they were reducing the attacks greatly during his time period. this was a significant thing for the military during his time period there. jack murtha was elected to congress in 1974 in a special election. new congressmen are assigned to committee works and so one of the things that he was assigned to fairly quickly was the house subcommittee on defense appropriations. this was critical, because what is happening is this building
on his military experience. i also would like to note, though, that in his election of 1974, he is the first member of the house to have served in vietnam. tip o'neill becomes sort of a mentor for jack murtha and tip o'neill decides that, you know, jack murtha needs to be on these fact finding trips around the world. wherever there are appropriations for military movements. and so, for instance, one of the very first ones in 1978, he finds himself back in vietnam, back in southeast asia, and he is meeting with various political figures as well as with military figures, and one of the things he does is he records on tape kind of a diary of his actions through the day. one of the things we have here in the collection are this wonderful transcript of his tapes. also with his notations on
them. one of the things it says here is the state department was stating that there are two or three thousand russians in vietnam today and they give approximately $500 million per year in aid. they're also talking about sort of the claims of the vietnamese not being friendly to the russians and especially being ore friendly to the chinese. basically a fact finding trip is what's going on here trying to figure out who are the players on the ground in vietnam still? later on he is assigned to go to beirut and egypt on a fact finding mission in the 1980's. this particular trip, one of the things that's produced is this wonderful album of photographs. he visits, you know, the palace and president mubarak of egypt. but, also, one of the things that's very critical in this is a clipping, which basically says, murtha's trip will
influence the direction of the appropriation subcommittee talks. one of the things that congressman murtha sort of distinguished himself by the early part of the 21st century was his expertise in military intelligence, military service, and the service on the appropriations committee. so he becomes a very strong voice for any military action happening by the united states. 9/11 happens. and so we go to war. particularly with, against terrorism and afghanistan. but shortly after that, we find ourselves looking, getting the resolution to go to war in iraq. congressman murtha supports the initial resolution to go to war in iraq like many of his colleagues in congress. but within a few years, he begins to be more critical of that action. and by november of 2005, he
introduced -- introduces a resolution to actually pull our troops out of iraq. >> the united states and coalition troops have done all they can in iraq. it's time for a change in direction. our military is suffering. the future of our country is at risk. we cannot continue on the present course. it is evident that continued military action in iraq is not in the best interests of the united states of america. >> this is extremely controversial. particularly from his base constituents, which are, you know, very much pro sort of military types of folks. to understand sort of how controversial this was, congressman murtha received a huge amount of mail, probably about six boxes worth of
letters, mostly against what he had to say. mostly against his resolution to pull out of iraq. this letter from a former enlisted man from wisconsin says, by definition you are a traitor. your comments are aiding and abetting the enemy. you, sir ks are an embarrassment to our country, the flag, and the freedom. another person writing that's also a retired military man, says, benedict arnold was a decorated soldier as well. one of the last ones that i would like to sort of highlight is coming from a citizen in florida where he says, marines don't cut and run. marines don't quit before the job is done. marine don't leave their dead on the field. you may have once been a marine, but it seems that your soul has been sold to the enemies of our country. you are a disgrace to the corps. this is the kind of terrible
sort of feeling that some americans had and needed to express that to congressman murtha. but there were also people that felt that murtha was doing the right thing. in particular, here is a very good letter from rhode island from a citizen who is saying, i want to thank you for taking a courageous and correct position to bring our troops home from iraq. you have put your country first, ahead of your own interests, but in accord with the wisdom and conscience of your inner being. god bless you. in 2006, congressman murtha was awarded the profiles in courage award from the jfk presidential library. they stated at the time of the award as a combat veteran and retired marine corps colonel with 37 years of service in the u.s. military, murtha's decision to withdraw his support from the iraq war
carried particular weight. his decision speaking out against the protracted conflict shifted public sentiment about the war and generated a substantive national debate on the progress, policies, and objectives of the u.s. presence in iraq. so you can see here in this picture congressman murtha after he's awarded the profile in courage award, embracing caroline kennedy in a very emotional ceremony. congressman murtha was also very good at bringing back dollars to western pennsylvania, supporting people in the work of the federal government here in the region. one the ways that he did that was he was involved in the appropriations committee for the interior department, which of course is the parent of the national park service. congressman murtha: in many ways our national parks represent what our greatest strengths are as a nation. the natural beauty of our great
land, seemingly limitless potential, unspoiled by the ravages of man. for pennsylvania, our park lands also represent another source of economic diversification as tourists spend nearly $20 million a day throughout the commonwealth. >> in particular, he was very supportive in the 1980's of the creation of the industrial national park heritage areas. this is important to western pennsylvania, because as we talked about before with his family's connection to the coal and steel industry, pittsburgh and western pennsylvania is the center of steel making. but in the 1980's it's on a huge decline. in fact, it becomes almost -- it almost disappears. so at this point in time, he's looking at ways in which we can capitalize on the steel heritage and promote it through some tourism and preservation
for the betterment of our country. >> but this plan, this coordinated effort by the parks department, by the local government, by the commissioners in the various counties, by the state, has changed our direction and added to the other things that we've done. as you said earlier, throughout the country people are interested in this particular project because it's a pilot project for the rest of the country of how you can bring counties together. >> in part of the collection, there are wonderful recordings, video recordings of his show called "capitol commentary" that he recorded in washington and were sent back here to western pennsylvania. in some of his episodes, he interviews several of the leaders in the national park, also some of the researchers in the national park service, particularly around this industrial heritage area.
people in congressman murtha's district saw that he really was working for them and bringing back programs, federal programs that were helping them, themselves. during the 1980's and the 1990's there was a lot of unemployment here, and so he got a lot of support from his constituents for bringing these programs and creating some of the centers that were developed here and became home in johnstown and western pennsylvania. many of his fellow congressmen saw his great sort of support programs coming into western pennsylvania as earmarks and pork-supported projects and it didn't set as well with them. so they became very big critics of him. congressman murtha died in 2010. he, unfortunately, was having some illness and had surgery
and he died from complications from his surgery. his passing was a great blow to the people of western pennsylvania and the 12th istrict. >> this weekend we're featuring the history of pittsburgh, pennsylvania together with our comcast cable partners. learn more about pittsburgh and other stops on our cities tour at c-span.org/cities tour. you're watching merp history tv all weekend -- you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> up next u.s. army war college history professor michael neiberg talks about events leading up to america's entry in world war i and common misperceptions he sees in conventional vufse the great war. mr. neiberg is the author of "the path to war, how the first world war created modern america." the new york military affairs symposium hosted this event. it's an hour and a half.